Pungu maclareni from Lake Barombi Mbo, Cameroon

Out of the ordinary: Pungu maclareni from Lake Barombi Mbo, Cameroon.

Pungu maclareni

Pungu maclareni. By Dave Hansen

Just like Myaka myaka, Pungu maclareni is the only species in its genus. Lake Barombi Mbo is unusual in its isolation. All 11 endemic species of cichlids are believed to have evolved from a single species. Due to human pollution and the ever present threat of carbon dioxide emissions from volcanic activity, all inhabitants of the lake are endangered.

P. maclareni is a brightly colored fish with black splotches on its body and a blue mouth. It has an unusual diet consisting of Corvospongilla thysi, an endemic sponge. Hobbyists have been able to get P. maclareni to accept flake and pellet food, but spawns are rare. I’ve heard from hobbyists that the lack of its native diet and water conditions play a role having this fish spawn. It is recommended that these fish be kept in a species only tank to minimize stress and improve the changes of successful spawns.

For more information on P. maclareni and other cichlids from Lake Barombi Mbo, take a look at the Insight on Barombi Mbo, Cameroon article.

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